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Long Distance Hiking recommended route Stage 8

Pfälzer Weinsteig Stage 8: Dernbach - Annweiler am Trifels

· 3 reviews · Long Distance Hiking · Pfalz
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  • Krappenfelsen
    / Krappenfelsen
    Photo: Axel Brachat, CC BY, Verein Südliche Weinstraße Annweiler am Trifels e.V.
  • / Pfälzer Weinsteig Etappe 8
    Video: Südliche Weinstrasse e.V. - Pfalz
  • / Idyllische Wiesen bei Eußerthal
    Photo: Outdooractive Redaktion
  • / Klosterkirche Eußerthal
    Photo: Outdooractive Redaktion
  • / Kreuzweg bei Eußerthal
    Photo: Outdooractive Redaktion
  • / Eselstränke
    Photo: Outdooractive Redaktion
  • / Blick von Gräfenhausen zum Trifels
    Photo: Outdooractive Redaktion
  • / Ausblick vom Krappenfelsen
    Photo: Archiv Verein SÜW Annweiler e.V.
  • / Kirche in Annweiler
    Photo: Outdooractive Redaktion
m 500 400 300 200 100 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Annweiler am Trifels Klosterkirche Eußerthal Jung-Pfalz-Hütte Krappenfelsen Dernbach Eselstränke Eußerthal
Today we walk from Dernbach through woods and meadows to Eußerthal and onwards to Gräfenhausen, the most westerly wine-producing community in the Palatinate. The trail continues over the summit of the Großer Adelberg mountain, past the Krappenfels viewing point and down to the town of Annweiler, which lies at the foot of the majestic Trifels Castle.
Distance 14.4 km
5:00 h
603 m
631 m
With Dernbach behind you  and the Deutscher Weinstrasse in front of you, the eighth stage invites you to a high altitude tour towards Annweiler am Trifels. A steep climb leads to the Sanatorium Eußerthal and through the wooded area on the slopes of the Walterkopf. Downhill through the  Eusserthal you will see the abbey church of a former Cistercian monastery from the 12th century. With blossoms in spring and the aroma of fruit, the orchards will accompany you up to the Steinernen Wegkreuz before you reach the gap tween Grüneck and Franzosenkopf where the Eselstränke ripples downhill. From the picnic area at the 3-Burgen-Blick you will see the Trifels Castle and the ruins  of Anebos and Scharfenberg. From the wine village of Gräfenhausen it goes uphill to the forest cabin at the Holderqelle, on the north side of the Großer Adelberg. A detour of approx. 500 metres will lead you to the  Jung-Pfalz-Hütte where, on weekends, you can have a snack. Once again, the Trifels Castle can be seen from the lookout point  Krappenfels, before arriving in Annweiler. In the old tanner’s  district of this town  the River Queich still drives  the wheels of the town mill.


UFFBASSE! - Campaign for being considerate of others in nature

  • Always act in a proactive, friendly and considerate way towards everyone you encounter along the way.
  • Respect nature, do not destroy plants and always stay on the paths. Try to avoid excessive noise and leave the forest before dusk.
  • Remember to take a rubbish bag with you when you go out and take your rubbish back home.
  • Please keep your dog on a leash at all times. Other visitors and animals thank you.
  • For your own safety, observe all road closures, including at weekends.
  • Park only in designated parking areas. Leave space for emergency vehicles and agricultural machinery.
  • Please give priority to agricultural and forestry traffic.

Author’s recommendation

  • Besichtigung der Klosterkirche Eußerthal
  • Einkehr per Abstecher zur Jung-Pfalz-Hütte möglich (Öffnungszeiten beachten)
Profile picture of Tobias Kauf
Tobias Kauf 
Update: October 14, 2021
Quality route according to "Wanderbares Deutschland"
Highest point
464 m
Lowest point
177 m
Best time of year

Rest Stop


Safety information

In light of recent events:

Coronavirus Guide from the German Hiking Association


In autumn in particular, it is important to remember that leaves lying on the ground can hide bumps, roots, stones and holes in the path. Trees can topple and branches can fall down after thunderstorms and rainstorms. Natural paths can become muddy and slippery, especially in poor weather conditions. Not all rocks and precipices are secured with ropes or railings. You need to be sure-footed in certain areas. Damage to paths of this kind is to be expected on hikes. If you feel that certain sections of the path are not passable for you, please avoid them.



We endeavour to announce all closures due to forest work or hunting parties on this platform. Nevertheless, sometimes there are situations where hiking trails are closed and we may not have been informed. If you unexpectedly encounter a road closure or diversion, please follow the instructions for your own safety.


Dernbach town center (205 m)
49.248989, 8.005069
49°14'56.4"N 8°00'18.2"E
32U 427592 5455611


Annweiler am Trifels, spa gardens

Turn-by-turn directions

The 8th stage of the Weinsteig trail begins in the attractive village of Dernbach, nestled among the hills. From here, we climb uphill into the forest and arrive at the Eußerthal sanatorium (1). Easy forest paths bring us along the slopes of the Walterskopf mountain to the municipality of Eußerthal, with its parish church (2), site of a former Cistercian monastery. The trail continues through pretty orchards past a stone wayside cross (3) and up into the forest once again.On the sometimes steep climb up the pass between the Grüneck and Franzosenkopf mountains the clear, cold water of the Eselstränke springs quenches our thirst.

On the descent to Gräfenhausen the 3-castle-view rest area (4) invites us to pause for a moment. Across from us, Trifels Castle and the ruined castles of Anebos and Scharfenberg rise up into the Palatinate sky. We walk through the small wine-producing village of Gräfenhausen and, after a long ascent on shady trails and paths, reach the Jungpfalz shelter and the Holderquelle fountain on the northern slope of the Großer Adelsberg mountain. It's worth making the short detour (approx. 500m) to the Jungpfalz hikers' hut, which is open at the weekends.

It's also not far from here to the Krappenfels viewing point (5), where you will be greeted by a lovely view of Trifels Castle. A path brings us down the wooded slope to the Turnerheim restaurant and on towards Annweiler. In this small town on the River Queich, nestled at the foot of Trifels Castle, a historical town centre with a watermill, tanners' quarter and romantic alleyways awaits us.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

By train to Albersweiler, then by bus to Dernbach

Getting there

A65 to the Landau-Nord exit, continue on the B10 towards Annweiler until the L505 bears right towards Dernbach


In Dernbach


49.248989, 8.005069
49°14'56.4"N 8°00'18.2"E
32U 427592 5455611
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Rother Bergverlag : Die Pfälzer Weitwanderwege Pfälzer Höhenweg, Pfälzer Waldpfad, Pfälzer Weinsteig. In 30 Tagen durch die Pfalz (Autor: Jürgen Plogmann). 140 Seiten mit 60 Farbabbildungen, 30 Höhenprofile, 30 Wanderkärtchen im Maßstab 1:75.000, eine Übersichtskarte. ISBN 978-3-7633-4401-7 Conrad-Stein-Verlag: Pfälzer Weinsteig (Autorin: Anne Bärbel Engelhart). 192 Seiten mit 17 Karten, 61 Farbabblidungen und 10 Höhenprofilen. ISBN 978-3-86686-380-4

Author’s map recommendations

  • Public Press Wanderkarte Pfälzer Weinsteig im Maßstab 1:25.000, deutsch, Leporello Falzung mit 17 Teilkarten, GPS-genau, elf redaktionelle Seiten mit Ausflugszielen und Einkehrtipps. Weitere Hauptwanderwege enthalten. ISBN 978-3-89920-677-7, Preis: 11,99€. Direkt hier bestellen.
  • Wanderkarte Pfälzerwald 6 und 8, NaturNavi Gmbh, ISBN 978-3-96099-104-5


We recommend the following equipment as standard for our hiking tours:
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Clothing suitable for the weather
  • Sun and rain protection
  • Sufficient quantity of food and drink, as refreshment stops or shopping facilities are not always available or open.
  • Although the paths are very well marked throughout, for safety reasons it is always advisable to carry a suitable hiking map so that you can quickly find your way to a safe area in the event of a thunderstorm or emergency.

Questions and answers

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Sandra Oefler
July 25, 2021 · Community
Von dernbach bis ins eußerthal war der Weg nicht so schön ... kies/Schotter Waldweg aber danach war es wieder typisch weinsteig mit viel auf und ab wobei es der 2. Anstieg auch für uns als geübte Wanderer in sich hatte...o.k. Heute waren es auch 27 Grad... das Landschaftsbild war abwechslungs und aussichtsreich und es gab einige Rastplatz. Nach der eselstränke mit Schutzhütte, dann ist man auch oben angekommen und es gibt dort noch mal eine Quelle mit frischem Wasser. Und ein toller Rastplatz am 3 burgenblick in gräfenhausen! In annweiler sollte man sich die Altstadt nicht entgehen lassen Zeitaufwand ca. 20 min. Und am marktplatz/Dorfplatz gabe es noch eine schönes eiscafe.
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When did you do this route? July 25, 2021
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Photo: Sandra Oefler, Community
Michael Vau
August 14, 2019 · Community
Ungemütliche Etappe, fast nur bergauf und wieder bergab. Zum Teil steile Anstiege. Nur eine Hütte zum Einkehren, die leider Betriebsferien hatte.
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When did you do this route? August 04, 2019
Georg Doerrig
April 23, 2017 · Community
Tolle abwechslungsreiche Etappe. Alles dabei: Feld, Wald, Wiesen, Traumhafte Täler, beeindruckende Weitsichten, idyllische Orte. Teilweise anspruchsvolle schweißtreibende steile Anstiege. Die Mühe lohnt sich jedoch. Falls Übernachtung im Zielort Annweiler gewünscht und viel Ruhe gewollt ist, empfehle ich sich noch die Mühe zu machen in den Ortsteil Bindersbach weiter zu wandern (ca 30 min.), oder den Linienbus zu nehmen. Dort kann man im Gästehaus Heger ein gemütliches, sauberes Zimmer mit Frühstück bekommen. Gute Gastronomie nur 5 Min. entfernt. Von Familie Heger aus ist der Wiedereinstig auf den Weinsteig gut möglich. Der Hausherr ist bei der Wegerklärung sehr hilfsbereit.
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Photos from others

+ 23

14.4 km
5:00 h
603 m
631 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Family-friendly Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Botanical highlights Flora and fauna


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